[Advaita-l] The Ramana Way

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Oct 27 11:02:32 EDT 2020

I thought of you when I read this quote from "On Meditation: Finding
Infinite Bliss and Power Within" by Sri M -

"In Ramana Maharshi’s case, while he was still young, he had an experience
which did not happen in meditation. He was doing nothing. I ascribe this to
his having meditated in many lives. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. He had an
experience where he actually found himself to be not the body, to be
disassociated from the body. That stuck in his mind and he said, ‘If this
is not true, if I am not this body, then who am I?’ That’s where his
enquiry started. Now we haven’t had any such experience, so we must start
the inquiry first and then go on. We have to say that ‘Ramana Maharshi had
this experience where he found that he was not the body. Even though I
don’t have that experience, I think that he was a genuine person and a
great yogi, and he did have that experience. Then, asking the question “Who
am I” if not the body, he reached the goal.’ In simple words, what Ramana
Maharshi said was, ‘I am not the clothes that I wear, because if I take
them off and hang them up it is clear that I’m not the clothes. But when I
wear the clothes it looks like the clothes are part of me. But then what am
I?’ That was his question. With great attention he meditated on this until
he hit upon his true essence. However, it’s not so easy to follow this line
of inquiry in the world where we live, with so many distractions. If you
read some of the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, he himself says that if you
can’t do that inquiry, at least watch your breath. ‘At least’, he uses the
words ‘at least’, watch your breath. The reason for this is because when
you’re watching the breath, you slowly go within and begin to realize,
‘What am I? Am I this mind or is there something behind it?’ And Ramana
Maharshi found it. There is no question in my mind that he found what we
are looking for. And when he found it, he found that which is inside, which
is the true essence of being, is also outside. You will rarely see a single
picture of Ramana Maharshi with his eyes closed, because for him the inside
and the outside were not demarcated. But he had to find it inside first. He
did perhaps in the early days close his eyes but then he found that
everything was one."

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